DUBAI, 5th October, 2021 – As part of Climate and Biodiversity Week at Expo 2020 Dubai, the Women’s Pavilion hosted a Women’s World Majlis on ‘The First Defenders of Mother Nature: Women Leading the Fight to Save Our Planet’, moderated by Dr Nawal Al Hosany, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
The session, which took place on Monday, was attended by Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; Natasa Pilides, Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry, Cyprus; Alexandra Palt, Executive Vice President, Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer, L’Oréal; Dr Reem Al Mualla, Research Manager, Bahrain Institute for Pearls and Gemstones, Bahrain; and Dr Gladys Kalema, environmentalist/founder, Conservation Through Public Health, Uganda.
Sam McCloskey, Director, Centre for Advanced Sustainable Energy, UK, participated virtually.
Research has shown that women are the greener gender.
A 2019 study by the Climate Institute in the US reported that on average, women in many countries have a 20 percent smaller carbon footprint than men, and that countries with female political leaders tend to have lower carbon emissions per capita.
It also found that women were generally more knowledgeable on topics such as biodiversity and climate awareness, with a greater knowledge of endangered species.
Yet women are also overlooked when it comes to these concerns, with low numbers working as climate researchers, and also in environmental governance.
Dr Nawal Al Hosany said: “This event is the first of its kind, and Expo 2020 Dubai has provided a platform to discuss pioneering initiatives to save Mother Nature, because only if the international community unites and collaborates will we be able to build a better future.
Christiana Figueres said: “If the world does not prioritise climate change in the next few years, we will perish, lose many living creatures, and face greater problems than we see today.
” She added that women’s participation in saving nature was not optional, as the world cannot afford to lose so much of its capability in fighting climate change.
Such problems can only be solved with everyone working together, she said, and many ideas from as many people as possible would be needed.
Dr Reem Al Mualla, who holds a PhD in marine biology and specialises in coral reefs, explained that Gulf countries, due to the nature of their hot climate, should be the destination for all scientists in studying the adaptation of living organisms to high temperatures.
Natasa Pilides, said Expo 2020 Dubai is changing the traditional ideas that led us to undesirable results, making us adopt and accept new solutions that keep pace with current problems.
She added that Expo 2020 Dubai gave us the opportunity to meet and discuss these issues, as dialogue is the fuel for change.
Abdulla Shahid, President of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, also addressed the gathering, and praised the UAE for its support on women’s issues.